Plastic Surgery

Correcting Prominent Ears (Otoplasty)

  • 											Array
        [name] => Dr Colin Tham
        [avatar] =>
        [tiny_avatar] =>
        [address] => Asia HealthPartners (Aesthetics)
    304 Orchard Road
    #05-06 Lucky Plaza
    Singapore 238863
    Tel: 6235 8411
        [id] => 2104
        [doctor_link] =>
        [specialization] => Plastic Surgeon
        [specialization_id] => 37
        [specialization_link] =>
  • February 3, 2023
  • 1 minute read

Prominent ears, also called protruding ears, are defined as ears that protrude at least 2 cm from the side of the head. They usually result from an underdeveloped or misdeveloped antihelical fold, which causes the helix to stick out. Another cause is excess cartilage in the concha, the bowl-shaped part of the ear that pushes the ear away from the head. In some cases, prominent ears are caused by both an undeveloped antihelical fold and excessive concha cartilage.

Prominent ears are not a serious condition that can lead to ear problems such as hearing loss. It is a purely cosmetic issue as some people may find them unattractive and a cause of low self-esteem and even ridicule from others.

Treatment for Prominent Ears

Prominent ears may be addressed through non-surgical and surgical means. The most common methods are:

  • Non-surgical ear moulding – Ear moulding is commonly used to correct outer ear deformities during infancy. A few weeks after birth, babies with noticeably protruding ears wear custom ear moulds that will help mould their ears into a more natural position and shape as the ears continue to develop. These moulds are typically worn 24/7 for 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Ear pinning – This is a form of otoplasty—surgery to improve or correct the ear’s size, shape and position—that can be performed on individuals of all ages. During this procedure, an incision is made behind the ears, and the cartilage is reshaped to make an antihelical fold. This antihelical fold will support the ear in its new position that is closer to the head.

    In some cases, sutures are created at the back of the concha to bring the entire ear closer to the side of the head. Once done, the ear in its new position will be protected using a postoperative dressing that will also aid in healing. Within three months after surgery, patients are advised to wear a headband nightly to support the ears.

Otoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that patients can go home on the same day of the operation.

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